Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
“Do I like what happened? No,” said Babcock.
“Could he have handled it differently? Sure. I coach the team so I’m a little biased but I saw (Iginla’s) elbow hit (Hasek) in the forehead and thought at least it should have been a penalty both ways.”
Iginla didn’t see it that way.
“That ice is just as much ours as it is his and, to be honest, I thought he came into me and I didn’t think it was much contact at all,” said Iginla.
“I was surprised he got so upset on that play. At that point in the game, it’s obviously a good thing to get the powerplay and if he’s not happy and we’re playing within the rules, that’s obviously a good thing too.”
from Adam Proteau of the Hockey News,
Somehow, championship teams find a way to overcome any and all adversity. The vanquished, meanwhile, too often seek out a bullseye for misguided blame. And the officials always are the easiest target around.
But unless Apple invents the iRef, we’re stuck with the guys and the system we’ve got. And until someone comes up with a practical, fail-safe solution to a game played and run by human beings, all you ref-blasting bleaters out there ought to stuff a hockey sock in your soundholes and allow the rest of us to enjoy the playoffs in peace.
Spector is in the process of a few changes to his site, check it out at Spector’s Hockey.
Lyle is still in the process of the changeover and it should be completed
within 24 hours
(now open for business as of early Friday afternoon). For the latest news, you can still go to his soon to be old site.
Sabres and Sharks hope to wrap up the series tonight.
from the Mercury News,
A victory tonight would give the Sharks some much-needed recovery time before the next series. They would not need to play a Game 6 in San Jose on Sunday or (heaven forbid) a Game 7 in Nashville on Tuesday. It is likely that Round 2 of the playoffs won’t begin until next weekend.
You can look it up. The most accurate predictor of a Cup winner is how easily the team makes it through the early playoff rounds. Not since 1992 has a team been stretched to a seven-game series in the first round and then proceeded to win the Stanley Cup. And the team that did so, the Pittsburgh Penguins, had the benefit of Mario Lemieux on its roster.
from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” Therrien said. “You look at the big picture, it’s a huge step.”
How true, the Pens are on a huge upswing, look out NHL!
added 8:29am, from the Toronto Star,
Even though they lost in the first round of the playoffs, this was more a beginning than an end for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Nobody understood that – and how the hockey landscape is about to change – better than Ottawa coach Bryan Murray, whose club had just made short work of the Pens, dispatching them in five games.
“They’re going to be a team you’re not going to want to play in the future,” said Murray.
fromm Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Adhering to the rulebook, especially at this time of year, still is a sensitive issue with a lot of players, coaches, fans and media.
“As much as everyone bought in to what we’re trying to do, you get people who say ‘How can you make that call at this time of year?,’” Walkom said last night in an interview. “We continue to work at changing the mind-set. What is a penalty in the first period is still a penalty in the third. I think if people are (scrutinizing officials), it’s because emotions are running really high right now with so much at stake.
“Everything is magnified. But we know that and we expect that.”
from the Pioneer Press,
Here’s the upshot of an otherwise disappointing first-round loss: new rivalry, new hero and newfound respect for a couple of Wild players. There also should be the realization that a lot of work remains to be done. The team has to get bigger. The guys were worn to the nub by the end of Game 5.
At least the Wild have found a blood rival for next year. In a season filled with faceless opponents and emotionless games, the Ducks will be an exception.
The Ducks earned the right to become the team Minnesota loves to hate. People will circle their calendars for next season’s quack-ups at the Xcel Energy Center. It will be the biggest thing since Todd Bertuzzi was with the Vancouver Canucks.
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Just prior to the deadline, Sather made his move, sending Ward to the Bruins for Paul Mara, in whom the Blueshirts had been interested for weeks.
It was a deal that improved the Rangers on the ice, with Mara providing a second power-play-unit point option Ward did not. Beyond that, it was a trade that purified the atmosphere. And, most critically, it was a trade that solidified Jagr’s status as captain and cemented the mutual bond of trust and commitment between No. 68 and the hierarchy.
It was the fork in the road for the Rangers, who have followed their leader on the path to a sweep of Atlanta and the second round of the playoffs.
Reading the different forums and blogs on the Wings/Flames series, it has been a panic theme after every game.
Just remember what I said after the Wings went up 2-0, it is not a series until a road team wins. Still hasn’t happened and it may not.
The home ice may actually come in play for this series.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org